Middle English Dictionary Entry

belī n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The belly of man or animal, abdomen; ~ and bak, before and behind, all over; (b) the body; (c) ~ blind, blind as the inside of the belly, pitch dark; ~ bond, a band or strap passing under a horse's belly, belly band; ~ naked, stripped to the belly, completely naked.
(a) The stomach [esp. as a symbol of gluttony]; ~ joi, the pleasure of eating; a leather bag functioning like a stomach; bagge ~; (b) the uterus, the womb; ~ brother, one who shares his mistress with another; (c) in pl.: ?the instestines.
(a) A bellows; esp., the bellows used by a smith; fig. anything which increases one's ardor or desire; develes ~; (b) pl., with reference to the two halves or two handles: a bellows for a smithy or an organ; paire (of) belwes; also fig.; (c) ~ bles, the blast or blowing from a bellows; ~ maker, a bellows maker; ~ pipe, the pipe of a bellows; ~ smith, a maker or repairer of bellows.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1400 Trin-C O.9.39 Recipes (Trin-C O.9.39) 11/6 : Take and blowe þe skyn with þy mouþe or ells with a bely pipe vntil hit be blowen ful of wynde in manere of a bladder or of a bagpipe.
  • Note: Additional quote, sense 3.(c), 'beli pipe, the pipe of a bellows'.
  • a1500 Trin-C.R.14.45 Recipes (Trin-C R.14.45) 123/7 : Ley gode fire al aboute, above, and on yche side, and þanne take a peyre belweys and euermore blowe fast until hit be al moltyn.
  • Note: Additional quote, sense 3.(b), new spelling.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc., see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. belly.